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That Time I Called 911

May 23rd, 2018

Picture this: It’s 5:45 am and you’re home alone standing in your bathroom naked except for a pair of underwear when your little dog starts growling and barking at the front door. Suddenly the doorbell rings and someone starts enthusiastically pounding on the door. You wait, hoping they go away, but they keep ringing the doorbell and pounding with an increased sense of urgency. You slowly make your way downstairs to see if you can peak through the side window without them noticing and see a big burly guy wearing a white t-shirt and tan jacket. You run upstairs to check if there’s any vehicles parked nearby to explain his presence but there’s nothing out of the ordinary. Meanwhile the ringing/pounding continues. What do you do?

Well, if you’re me, you dial 911 scared out of your mind. Which is what I did this morning. They took my address, name, number, and a description of the guy and then after checking their computer informed me that it was probably the fire department since they had a call for a carbon monoxide leak in a townhome at the end of my attached building. 911 was cautious about everything, however, and instructed me not to open the door until it was 100% confirmed. They also still sent a patrol car (it drove by just as everything was confirmed and I was opening the door). At that time two uniformed firefighters were coming out of my neighbor’s unit with the guy that, if I had nine lives, reduced mine to only eight today. I apologized for not answering sooner and for calling 911 but they were very understanding, as was the 911 agent who assured me I did the right thing by calling. They came inside to check the CO levels in my house and then promptly left.

In hindsight, I feel pretty silly but I was legitimately terrified while it was going on. I recall saying “please hurry, I’m really scared” to the 911 operator. In my defense, the guy at the door was not in uniform, nor did he announce who he was. I also subscribe to the fuck politeness theory and never answer the door unless I’m expecting someone, so I think it might be time to invest in a smart doorbell.

After calming down a bit, I posted what happened to Facebook and was reassured by many of my female friends that they would have done the same thing.

I really hate how hard it is to see out the front when people come to the door. We only have the side window next to the door which I have a shear drape over, so it’s pretty obvious if I look out there and still not answer, so I usually don’t even see the person. There’s awnings over the door area so looking out the side window upstairs reveals nothing, and the front windows are useless because the door is set back so far you can’t see it. It might be time to invest in a smart doorbell!

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